Clean eating: the journey from farm to fridge

18 October 2018

It’s the latest diet trend that has been spreading across the blogosphere. And the good news is that it’s easy to follow. Unlike many diets, clean eating is a nutritional concept that goes beyond reducing carb intake and calorie counting. Instead, it focusses on eating organic foods that have undergone minimal processing and handling, and making informed choices about the ingredients we choose to include in our meals. Organic vegetables, whole grains and responsibly farmed meat are all cornerstones of the clean eating health plan. If you want to dramatically reduce the distance your food has to travel, you could grow your own.

Keeping that in mind, here is a selection of clean eating recipe ideas that you can make quite easily yourself:

Citrus salmon with spinach, broccoli and peas

This recipe is already a healthy option, due to the omega 3 fats that come from oily fish. As for the vegetables including the spinach, broccoli and peas, look out for indications that they have undergone minimal processing. When shopping for these ingredients, ensure that they come from an organic source and you’ll have a perfectly nutritionally balanced and healthy meal for two. When it comes to the fish, shopping with a local fish monger can allow you to gauge where your fish has come from, and how long it’s had to travel before going on sale. With most independent fish mongers, the only processing that happens to their fish will be to freeze it for transport. Perfect for a clean eating diet.

Spicy chicken and avocado salad

This handy salad calls for 400g of diced chicken breast. When it comes to buying poultry, many of us are put off by the prospect of buying from farms that intensively farm their chickens. Poultry can be cleanly and ethically sourced - when shopping for chicken, look out for the organic and free range labels. This ensures that your chicken has been reared to a standard defined by law. For chicken that has had the least amount of intervention however, your local butcher is always worth investigating.

Sweet potato and leek frittata

Mixing vegetarian dishes into your regular diet is a healthy practice. And with vegetarian campaigns such as Meat Free Monday, now is as good a time as ever to experiment with getting a few veggie dishes into your regular rotation. If you want to make this low calorie, high vitamin dish as ‘clean’ as possible, why not have a go at growing your own sweet potatoes and leeks?

Beef and aubergine curry

The great thing about a curry is that it’s just a case of throwing your ingredients into a pot, and adding spices to taste. For midweek dinners, a curry is always a simple and easy way to get a balanced, convenient meal. This delicious recipe calls for fillet steak, instead of braising steak, to reduce the overall cooking time. Fillet steak is a finer cut of meat compared to cheaper braising steak and has a lower fat content. To ensure that this is a clean recipe, source your beef from a butcher whose supply is from a local farm to ensure minimal processing.

Almond and blueberry cake

Having a diet that revolves around clean eating doesn’t have to be limited to main course dinners. To maximise the clean eating aspect of this lovely cake recipe, why not pop out to your local farmers market to source ingredients such as the required 6 eggs, 6 lemons, and 100g of blueberries? If you’re willing to put in the effort, you might even be able to find a local producer of flour to amp up the clean eating factor! Tracking the journey of your ingredients from producer to pantry is a core part of clean eating.

Raspberry yogurt ice cream

If cake isn’t for you, then have a go at making some raspberry yogurt ice cream. Regular ice cream is often filled with colouring agents and artificial sweeteners. Substituting cream with yogurt helps to lower the calorie content, and sticking with Greek yogurt ensures that no sugar has been added without your knowledge. Again, ensuring that the raspberries are from a local source (or again you could try growing your own) is essential to make this healthy alternative to a decadent dessert fall into the clean eating category.

Pork cheeks with sauerkraut

Pork is a great meat as it’s full of essential vitamins, high quality protein and low in fat. When it comes to getting the ingredients together for this scrumptious sauerkraut, you know the drill by now. Look out for the organic and free range labels if you’re buying from the supermarket, but better still, source your pork from a butcher or farm. Other ingredients within this dish, such as the carrots, celery, juniper berries, and cabbage can all come from clean eating sources. In many ways, investigating and finding your ingredients for this recipe can be as enjoyable as making and eating it.

As you can see, there’s a great range of recipes that, when the ingredients are properly sourced, fall into the clean eating category. If you’d like to read more about what can be included in a clean eating diet, have a look at this handy guide from The Huffington Post.